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9th Annual Kansas International Film Fest

If you notice some bleary-eyed folks shambling around the Metcalf South shopping center over the next week or so, don’t panic. George Romero’s roaming zombies aren’t back to haunt the moribund mall this year.

The glazed-over look that some folks have is a simple biological reaction. This pallor comes from sitting for hours in a darkened theatre feasting on a smorgasbord of cinema.

The ninth annual Kansas International Film Festival runs September 18th through the 24th at the Glenwood Arts Theatre at 9575 Metcalf in Overland Park, KS.

This year’s cinematic celebration will feature over 50 films in that narrow one-week window.

One of the more interesting titles that will be featured is Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which is the opening night selection. The movie takes a humorous but critical look at the domineering effects of American and international corporations.

Although Hollywood doesn’t pay much attention to the fact that documentaries are attracting a lot of viewers these days, the KIFF selection staff understands. There are nearly as many docs being shown as standard fiction films this year.

One of the higher profile dramatic offerings is “Bright Star”, Jane Campion’s romantic flick about the final years of the life of 19th century poet, John Keats. Also of interest is “The Baker,” an Irish romantic comedy starring Damian Lewis (TV’s “Life”).

Among the great things about this event is that it attracts a wildly diverse array of movies and brings in many of the filmmakers for question-and-answer sessions with the audience.

Director Becky Smith and actor Nicholas Downs will be on hand to promote their romantic comedy “16 to Life.” Filmmaker John Trinh will speak about his documentary, “Agent Orange: 30 Years Later.”

Also attending is Sue Wilson, director of “Broadcast Blues” an exposé about shoddy news reporting. Josh Burrow, star of the thriller “The Crimson Mask” will appear in support of his movie.

Justin D. Hillard, director of the Texas road comedy “The Other Side of Paradise”, is scheduled to attend, as are Al Dekin and David Story, the filmmakers behind “Play On,” a sports drama with Kansas City connections.

Director Matt Meyers will be presenting his documentary “Tar Creek” about an environmental disaster in Oklahoma. Jennifer Burns, director of the documentary “Vincent: A Life in Colors” will be answering questions about her film, as will Katie Madonna Lee, director of “Woman’s Prison.”

But perhaps the most welcomed news is that the Alloy Orchestra will be returning this year. The three-man musical ensemble will provide the accompaniment to Dziga Vertov’s classic 1929 silent film, “The Man With the Movie Camera.” They will appear for only one performance on Sunday, September 20th at 2pm.

A complete description of all of the films and events as well as ticket information is available at www.kansasfilm.com.

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